Day 1 was an early start, 5.45 am, so we were at Cardiff Central station by 6.30 ready for the train, first to Bristol, change there for Exeter and then the Barnstaple train. Changing trains at the best of times can be a hassle but with bikes and panniers it's more so, especially as trains will only wait at stations for a specific time, in some cases 40seconds.!!. Not only that, despite having booked your bike onto a train there's no guarantee of a place, because the system doesn't inform the train guards that bikes are booked on. Its a crazy system. But basically the train companies regard bikes on trains as a pain and only pay lip service to it. Not like years ago when there was a goods van on the train. If you have a moment take a look at this clip.
Much of the ride was on Route 51, its a very hilly and if you decide to cycle it you may want to look for alternatives. The main roads are relatively quiet but are wide enough to cycle with care.
Views from Coombe Martin
Some of the lanes are in a bad state so you need good tread on your tyres
Some of the hills, double chevron jobs, were just too much for us, age, and carrying panniers were against us.
But as with all rides there are good bits and riding on this stretch was rewarding, especially as there was a nice pub selling teas.
This is Lorna Doone country with Exmoor looking good.
Its downhill all the way to Porlock via this tollroad.....£1 for cyclists, but well worth it just for the joyride with sweeping bends.
No Pictures of Day 2 but it was another hard day with lots of climbing for the first 20 miles and then then for the last 17 miles or so on great cycling roads into Taunton.
This trip was the forerunner to an event we are running in late June, cycling from Plymouth to Cardiff, but after cycling this bit we will alter the route to cater for everyone going. Whilst there are better cyclists than us going, there are some who wont be up to all the hills.
Here's the routes,